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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  August 6, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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the coastline. we'll warm up throughout this weekend. >> we'll continue this debate after the program. thanks for joining us. we hope to he sue you back at 6:00. good night. heart trouble. george w. bush is hospitalized after a scare. the former president who appeared to be the picture of health shining a light on a problem faced by hundreds of thousands of americans each year. outrage. as a man who admits to carrying out a massacre represents himself at trial, allowed to question the victims of his rampage. some say it's like being victimized all over again. seconds from impact. puzzling new information about what happened in the cockpit in the final moments before a crash landing. tonight, it's raising a lot of questions. and the fatal attraction that's threatening the way of life on the water. what's drawing so many sharks way too close to a popular summer spot? "nightly news" begins now.
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good evening. brian is off tonight. i'm lester holt. former president george w. bush is hospitalized tonight, recovering from a procedure to open up a blocked artery in his heart. doctors discovered the blockage during a routine exam and placed a stent in the artery. it's a pretty common procedure, performed thousands of times each year in the country. still, the news caught a lot of us offguard, as the 67-year-old former president has always appeared quite fit, and is known for maintaining a vigorous exercise regiment. and so tonight, his diagnosis has put the spotlight on the limits of a healthy lifestyle when it comes to a healthy heart. our chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman starts us off. >> reporter: when he was in office, president bush's medical team declared him to be in the superior fitness category. with low blood pressure and low
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cholesterol levels. >> i had my physical. and i'm feeling pretty good. >> reporter: even after leaving office, president bush has continued to maintain an active exercise regimen six times a week. >> it doesn't take much time to stay fit. 30 minutes, five days a week. >> reporter: during a routine physical, the 67-year-old was found to have a blockage in one of the arteries of his heart. though sources tell nbc news, he was not having symptoms. the findings prompted doctors at texas health presbyterian hospital to insert a stent. a stent is metal scaffolding, placed into an artery narrowed by cholesterol plaque. it restores blood flow and prevents a heart attack. nearly half a million stent procedures are done every year, and sometimes more than one stent can be placed at a time. twice as many men than women will get a stent. though with heart disease increasingly recognized in women, doctors expect that number may go up. after the procedure, there is a long-term risk of clotting, so
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patients are usually prescribed blood thinners. with no previous heart trouble, experts say that president bush's recovery should be straightforward. >> following stent procedure, no most patients go back to normal daily activity. most go back to work in two to three days and able to fully resume their lifestyle. >> reporter: the president is expected to go home tomorrow. this afternoon, his daughter jenna bush hager tweeted a favorite family photo. he's well and we're eager for him to return to grandpa duty. while every case is individual, general guidelines do not call for a patient to get a stent unless there are symptoms like jaw or chest pain, shortness of breath or lightheadedness. expected, as we said, lester, for the president to go home tomorrow. all signs are full steam ahead. >> we're glad he's doing well, but it's mildly discouraging. what does this say to the rest of us who, as adults, have adopted a healthy lifestyle. are we still paying for those cheeseburgers of our youth? >> exactly. you just said, we've adopted a healthy lifestyle. we really are what we eat. so the cheeseburgers of our life catch up to us.
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so what can you do? while a stent may stop the progression of heart disease, if you really are serious about turning it around, it's getting back to the basics. don't smoke, adopt a very low fat diet, increase your aerobic exercise. and after all, if you have to be on a statin, your doctor has recommended it, that's still the best way to bring the cholesterol down. it's all of those things to make up for what we did when the american diet went downhill. >> dr. nancy, thank you. >> you bet. it was a brazen attack on american soldiers where you would least expect it, a secure army base in the middle of texas. 13 people were killed, more than twice that many injured. and today, nearly four years later, the accused shooter, a fellow soldier, went on trial for his life in a military courtroom. nbc's mark potter was in the courtroom and has much more for us tonight from ft. hood. hello, mark? >> reporter: good evening, lester. the opening day of trial here was most unusual. the defendant served as his own attorney and made a startling admission in court, even though
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he faces a possible death penalty. it was one of the bloodiest rampages ever on a u.s. military base. a single gunman identified by authorities as army major nidal hassan, opening fire on unarmed soldiers and civilians at ft. hood, texas in november of 2009. hassan was charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder. he too was shot by a policeman, and is now paralyzed. in court today, hassan wore an army combat uniform and a beard and sat in a wheelchair. he is acting as his own attorney, and in his opening statement offered no defense, but an explanation, saying the evidence will clearly show that i am the shooter, and that he switched sides to defend islam. prosecutors say in planning the attacks, hassan bought lots of ammunition. and that his motive was a radicalized religious belief and anger over being called up for deployment to afghanistan. in his opening statement,
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colonel steve henrik said, he had a jihad duty to kill as many soldiers as possible. one of the first on a list of surviving victims to testify was retired army staff start alonso lunsford who recently described how hassan shot him seven times inside a medical processing center. >> that's when he yelled allahu akbar, pulled the weapon out and turned the lasers on, and started discharging his weapon inside of our building. >> reporter: many of the victims have sued the u.s. government. asking officials to classify the shootings as an act of terror so they can get combat-related benefits. >> they left every one of these victims behind, and their families. and they've treated them disgracefully. >> reporter: survivors are also outraged hassan is still collecting his military salary. totalling nearly $300,000 since his arrest. the pentagon says it can't stop the payments unless he's convicted. now, security for this trial is
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so tight, that hassan is flown to court every day by helicopter. and has special accommodations, the cost of which also outrage the victims. lester? >> all right, mark. thank you. a follow-up tonight on the crash landing of a southwest airlines jet at new york's laguardia airport two weeks ago. and the puzzling interaction between the pilots, just seconds before the plane slammed into the runway nose wheel first. ten people were injured but there were no fatalities. nbc's tom costello has new details for us. tom, good evening. >> reporter: lester, the ntsb is telling us the first officer was flying the plane. that is very common. but for some reason while below 400 feet on final approach, the captain suddenly grabbed control of the aircraft. and seconds later, the crash landing. to the passengers inside flight 345, the approach into laguardia two weeks ago seemed to be normal. but then, suddenly -- panic on board as the nose of the 737 slammed on to the runway. >> you need to take your seat, please take your seat.
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>> reporter: now, federal investigators say the plane's first officer had been flying the plane, but in the final seconds of flight while below 400 feet altitude, the captain suddenly assumed control of the plane. seconds later, the crash landing. to veteran pilot john cox, the question is why wouldn't the captain simply go around if he or she thought there was a problem. >> if there is an issue that arises between 500 feet and the ground and there's any question about the safe continuation of the landing, a go-around is required. >> reporter: the ntsb says the first officer was experienced with 5,200 flight hours, 1,100 in the 737. though this was his first trip in command. the captain had accumulated 12,000 hours of flight time, 7,900 in the 737. but this was their first flight together. the question tonight, why did the captain take control of the plane so late in the landing process, and was the handoff according to procedure?
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>> to try to take command, get established, get the tactile feel for the airplane and successfully touch the airplane down on the runway is very challenging. >> reporter: the accident came just two weeks after asiana flight 214 crash landed on approach in san francisco. investigators are looking into whether pilot error played a role in that crash. experts emphasize that procedures and discussions between pilots in the first and last minutes of flight are critical, which is why there are very strict protocols. investigators are
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president obama was in phoenix today where he called again for major reforms in this country's mortgage finance system, as the nation's housing market improves. among other things, the president said the government-backed fannie mae and freddie mac should be eliminated. but it was this picture that caught our attention as he arrived today. a very cordial greeting from arizona governor jan brewer. it was in pretty sharp contrast to the finger pointing she appeared to give him when he was in phoenix a year and a half ago. the issue then was arizona's crackdown on undocumented immigrants. still ahead as we continue here tonight, hidden danger at one of the most popular summer spots in america. the beautiful creature is on the water and a lot of folks are worried about what lies beneath. and later, purchasing power. the visionary who revolutionized the way we shop and the way we read. tonight a lot of questions about the man behind this big buy.
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we're back now with an increasingly common occurrence along the waters in the east coast this summer.
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shark scares.ñ1e.:"÷ and not just any sharks. dozens of great whites are being sighted this summer, lured into shallow waters by the seals they feed on. it's become a big problem in the massachusetts coast. nbc's katy tur has that story for us. >> reporter: a summer afternoon at the chatham fishing pier. >> hello, hi! >> reporter: crowds by the dozens, seals by the hundreds. at least right here. on any given day on cape cod, thousands of the whiskered sea creatures can be seen sunning on the island, where they've been federally protected for the last 40 years. >> what do you think, alexa? >> very awesome, because i don't really see seals a lot. >> reporter: it's not just the visitors the seals are attracting. last year using tracking sensors, the shark research group tagged two great whites off the shores of cape cod, naming one of them mary lee. >> oh, yeah, oh, yeah, mary lee!
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>> reporter: today the 16-foot long beauty is off the coast of georgia and headed north. on monday beaches in wellesley were closed for an hour after people spotted another shark 30 yards out. and last july, a swimmer was bitten by one just up the coast. >> i'm not going in the water, i'll tell you that. >> reporter: everyone talks about the sharks and how they make it unsafe to get into the water, unsafe for swimmers. but if you ask the fishermen, the sharks are not the problem. >> the problem is too many seals. >> reporter: bill has been fishing here since the '70s. like more than 400 other fishing families on the cape, he would only see an occasional seal, now thes 16,000 by a rough estimate in the marine fishery's service. he says they're depleting an already strained fishery and threatening his livelihood. >> the uncontrolled explosion in the population over the last j1l decade, they're eating the fish. they're eating fish at rates greater than we're even able to catch them. >> reporter: they want the government to take another look at the marine mammal protection
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act, which they say has worked too well. their idea, to thin the population. a tough sell. but given the choice between this and this, residents along the cape are facing an uneasy end to summer. katy tur, nbc news, chatham, massachusetts. we're back in a moment with a t-shirt that started an uproar tonight at a popular closing store.
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for a change, some encouraging news, the problem of childhood obesity. the cdc says between 2008 and 2011, 18 states reported small but significant declines in obesity among low income preschool children. five states, florida, georgia, missouri, new jersey and south dakota had the largest decreases, with a drop of at least one percentage point. the cdc cited better diet and greater awareness of the problem.
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the children's place says it's pulling a t-shirt for girls from its scores that didn't go over well with some. the shirt said, my best subjects at the top and had checkmarks next to shopping, music and dancing, while the block next to math was left blank. the company's facebook page was swamped with criticism. some saying the shirt was sexist and perpetrator waited stereotypes about girls. the company apologized on twitter to anyone it may have offended. we're getting our first look tonight at some of the $136 million in jewels stolen at gunpoint in the brazen heist at a hotel in cannes on the french riviera. an insurance company released the pictures of some of the dazzling gems. offering more than a million dollars for information leading to their return. here is something to consider. just how long would you want to live. as scientists work on extending their lives well into the second century, the pew research center asked more than 2,000 adults if they liked that idea.
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while two-thirds said they thought most people would want to live to 120, it was a different story when they were asked about themselves. more than half, 56% said no thanks. living to anywhere from 79 to 100 would be just fine with them. we have an update tonight. last night brian let you know he was about to undergo knee replacement surgery. we're very happy to report everything went fine. tonight brian is resting comfortably, we'll continue to keep you posted on his recovery. he'll be checking in. tomorrow night we'll take a look at why so many people are now facing the same surgery after years of chronic pain. when we come back, the man who changed shopping as we know it, now has a lot of folks talking about a huge new purchase of his own.
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our final story tonight, as promised, is about a dot com billionaire, one of the richest men in american who forever changed the way we shop. now getting attention for a huge purchase of his own. buying the washington post for $250 million in cash. and that kind of buying power has people talking about the man behind this big buy. we get more on him now from nbc's anne thompson. >> reporter: jeff bezos has been
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laughing -- >> thank you. >> reporter: -- all the way to the bank. infectiously upbeat. bezos' net worth today is a dizzying $20 billion according to "forbes" magazine. the results of all those clicks on, the $135 billion behemoth of online retailers. back in the tech boom years, bezos was the toast of wall street. he was "time's" 1999 person of the year. by 2000 when i talked to him, wall street considered him toast for not turning a profit. >> i want lots of happy customers. >> reporter: a year later he had plenty of those and a profit. >> we're in this for the long term and we're going to take great care of our customers. >> reporter: audacious and patient in business. the same is true on how he spent his private fortune. bezos is a space geek, launching blue origin, a commercial space travel company. investing an untold sum to raise from the ocean floor one of the rocket engines that took neil armstrong and apollo 11 crew to
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the moon. but those seem relatively tame compared to bezos' $42 million in a mammoth clock to last 10,000 years inside a west texas mountain. >> i think that jeff bezos is very much the visible tech ceo of the moment, the person who is going to be making the boldest moves that people are paying attention to. >> reporter: and they have to. bezos has changed how we shop and how we read, with the kindle. type in his name and you get 532 results, the first, the secrets of his success, written for the kindle. but what continues to make bezos stand out is his willingness to reach for the stars. >> if i try this and fail, i'm not going to regret that.tgq and if i never try it, i'm always going to be haunted by having not given it a try. >> reporter: reveling in risks every step of the way. anne thompson, nbc news, new
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york. that's our broadcast for this tuesday night. uáy i'm lester holt in for brian. we hope to see you right back thanks for joining us. >> one of the state's most powerful lawmakers questions authorities at the state's utility commission. speaker of san jose has fired off a letter to the president of the cpuc, we uncovered that the president accepted $65,000 in gifts and travel. we broke the story last week and tony speaker campos is not sugar
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coating her observations. >> in a two-page letter she said that his travel he accepted is excessive. he accepted 16 trips in the past year and each valued at more than $6,000. a total of more than $165,000 in gifts and free travel. lavish gifts and in some cases from utilities you pay him to regular. accepting $165,000 in gifts and travel was quote, disappointing and the lengths and locations of the trip is outside the bounds of reasonableness. >> your investigation continues to highlight issues that symbolizes that the culture and department has serious issues that need to be addressed. he did not break